Why have we closed the door to the Ukrainian refugeees?, asks Labour’s Pat Osborne
People in North Dorset, especially the families of British service men and women, will have breathed a sigh of relief at Defence Secretary Ben Wallace’s announcement that we won’t be sending British troops to fight the Russians in Ukraine. Not least because most of us recognise that it would be madness to consider going to war with Russia when there is such a high risk of coming off second best. But
it is important nonetheless that the world stands united against Putin’s war, and the hefty economic sanctions that the international community have now imposed on Russia will hopefully go some way in encouraging Russia back to the negotiating table.
While ordinary Ukrainians are being issued with guns and civilians conscripted into doing their bit to defend their country, their democratic freedoms and the country’s abundant natural resources, the British Government have pledged that they will be supported to “fight every street with every piece of equipment we can get to them”.
No asylum for Ukrainians
At the same time, the UK has stopped accepting visa applications from Ukrainians, meaning that there is no safe or legal route for them to seek asylum in Britain unless they have British relatives. Priti Patel’s Nationality and Borders Bill will seek to make this even more difficult by effectively criminalising refugees attempting to find a way through to safety.
It would seem that for the Tories, standing united against Putin’s war means fighting down to the very last Ukrainian while putting a double bolt on their routes to safety. Our history shows that time and again we can be better allies than that. The Ukrainian people need better allies and the British people deserve a better Government.
Cllr Pat Osborne Labour’s former Parliamentary Candidate for North Dorset